I'm becoming a first time homebuyer – and yes, I'm buying my first home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. My biggest concern, of course, was how to maintain a safe social distance while touring various charts; My biggest shock was how quickly some of these listed homes went off the market. Even though I did not get the first home I made an offer, I got the second – and we close at the end of the month.
My experience of buying a home is not unique. I reached out to several real estate professionals to ask them how coronavirus affected the household; they talked about the importance of wearing masks, the emergence of the virtual homecoming and our current red hot housing market. If you want to buy a house while COVID-1
In this article:
Home Tours Go Virtually
"The biggest change has been using virtual tours and viewings," says Kimberly Ann Zeidner, Real Estate Agent at Real Living Real Estate Solutions in Orlando, Florida. my photographer to do 3D tours so buyers can "walk" through the home without ever setting foot. For buyers, I do Zoom or Facebook Messenger video shows where I walk them through the home and they can ask questions in real time. "
James Judge, a real estate agent in Phoenix, Arizona who shows home renovations on Instagram at @thehousejudge, recently sold two homes via FaceTime. "Sellers prefer that," he explained. "Smaller people walk through their house."
The judge still offers traditional, socially distant home tours, although he tries to limit them to vacant homes and lists.If the home is occupied, especially by a family with young children, he encourages buyers to tour via FaceTime instead.His two latest FaceTime Buyers did almost everything until the home inspection phase – which meant they both made offers on houses they had only seen through a screen.
Pre-approval is more important than ever
If you're considering buying a home – or even with the idea of touring one over Zoom – it's a good idea to get your pre-approval letter in place as soon as possible. "Most agents usually try to get their buyers pre-approved before making offers in an attempt to avoid disappointment or obstacles during a transaction "This procedure is not new. What has changed is the number of salespeople who demand it," says Adrienne Allen, a Homie broker in Las Vegas, Nevada ver it before their home even appears.
Andrina Valdes, COO of Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. in San Antonio, agrees. "Getting an early loan approval – taking it beyond initial pre-qualification – is a big deal right now for many buyers who want to get attention in a competitive market."
Requiring a pre-approval letter before showing a house helps weed out buyers who are not serious about buying a new home and allows agents and sellers to minimize contact with people who are unlikely to make an offer. Securing the pre-approval letter in advance also ensures that all buyers who begin the home purchase process have the ability to go all the way to closing. "Having an early loan approval can help your offer look more serious and stand out among several bids," advises Valdes.
If you are planning to buy a house in 2020, try to get your prior approval before you start booking tours – even virtual ones.
"Having an early loan approval can help your offer look more serious and stand out among several bids."
—Andrina Valdes, COO of Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.
Buyers need to make decisions quickly
The real estate market is very hot right now – and buyers need to be prepared to make decisions in a very short amount of time. "Here in Orlando, homes are under contract for as short as a few hours or a few days," Zeidner said.
Lukasz Kukwa, a real estate consultant at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Westfield, New Jersey, noted that a combination of factors including tighter lending guidelines, limited home inventory and historically low mortgage rates has created a seller market: “Increased competition for housing and quality buyers The market has created a smaller pool of buyers who now compete with each other in multiple bidding scenarios. This makes houses sell faster, at higher prices with more offers and favorable conditions for the sellers.
Some of these factors, such as the economic fluctuations that led to lower interest rates and tighter lending requirements, are directly related to the coronavirus. On the other hand, the relatively low number of homes on the market was an issue before the COVID-19 pandemic began (in fact, a low inventory was one of Realtor.com's housing market forecasts for 2020). More people want to buy than want to sell today – which means that if you want to buy a house this year, you must be ready to make a competitive offer as soon as possible.
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